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Saluda now tracking city vehicles with GPS

SALUDA – The City of Saluda is now tracking several city vehicles with GPS tracking.

Saluda City Council met Sept. 11 and heard from city manager Jonathan Cannon about the recent installation of the fleet tracking software.

Cannon showed the mayor and commissioners how the software reads.

The software was installed on police and public works vehicles.

“I’m not looking at using this software to track down my people doing something wrong,” said Cannon. “This gives us a real tool that we could look back and say what we could do better.”

For example, using the software, Cannon said the police chief looked at where he had traveled and said he didn’t realize he hadn’t patrolled up one street in a couple of weeks so he went there that day.

The software tracks how many miles an officer has driven and keeps a log of everywhere the officer has been. The software updates every minute and tells the speed the employee is traveling at all times.

Cannon showed where one officer traveled over a 24-hour period and noted that on these streets the officer was traveling 18 mph. The software also indicated when an officer did a traffic stop.

“It’s a very useful tool to see what they are doing and how they can improve,” Cannon said.

He also said an officer may go to an accident and be able to go back later and look at the data to help them fill out a report.

City staff can also use the software if they need to get in touch with an employee and see where they are.

Saluda Mayor Fred Baisden said the software also can be set up to alert a vehicle when service is needed such as an oil change.

Cannon said the fleet management software is also nice because 10 years from now the city can go back and see what happened.

Another positive aspect is that Saluda officers are alone so if they go out on a call for domestic violence, for example, and someone pulls a knife, if dispatch can’t get a hold of the officer, they can look at the software to see where the officer is located.

The new software costs the city approximately $120 month for all its vehicles.